Podcast Episode 153: Changing the Way We Talk to Girls About Their Changing Bodies

Thanks so much for coming by to check out Episode 153 of The New Family Podcast where we talk about how to have a better discussion about the body changes girls undergo once they hit puberty.

On this episode, we hear why it’s so vitally important that we give sober second thought to the way we have explained body changes and menstruation to girls. My guest, psychologist Dr. Robyn Stein DeLuca, has written The Hormone Myth: How Junk Science, Gender Politics and Lies about PMS Keep Women Down. She unpacks the commonly held assumption that all girls and women are emotionally erratic because of hormone fluctuations that accompany our menstrual cycles. In fact, she says that researchers have known since the early 1990s that, over time, men and women experience very similar emotional stability. In fact, the majority of studies used to establish the existence of premenstrual syndrome were quote “deeply flawed and unreliable.” We talk about how this should impact the way we speak to girls about starting their periods and about their emotions throughout the month.

Here are some resources related to this episode.

Dr. Robyn Stein DeLuca’s book The Hormone Myth: How Junk Science, Gender Politics and Lies about PMS Keep Women Down

Dr. DeLuca’s website Deluca Insight

Dr. DeLuca’s blog

Her TedX talk on the good news about PMS
Related Episode: How to Talk to Kids About Puberty

Related Episode: How to Explain Where Babies Come From – Talking to Kids About Sex

Related Episode: A Dad’s Cool Mission to Spread Girl-Positive Messages

Dr. DeLuca’s Advice to Parents About to Have a Conversation with their Girls About Changes in their Bodies.

“I think we rarely hear parents teaching girls that they should have positive sexual relationships, that they’re sexual pleasure is something they deserve, that is normal and healthy. So think, starting with period positivity, that is a great way to get on the road to emphasizing that women’s bodies are great, they’re healthy and it’s great to have one and there’s a lot of pleasures to be had and to be a mature woman. That you deserve a positive experience — you shouldn’t get into relationships where perhaps you’re only interested in your partners’ pleasures, that you are deserving of pleasure, too.”

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Brandie Weikle

About

Brandie is a long-time parenting editor, writer and spokesperson. Most recently editor-in-chief of Canadian Family magazine, Brandie has also been the parenting and relationships editor for the Toronto Star, founding editor of two Toronto Star websites, and an editor for Today's Parent. Brandie is a single mother of two in Toronto and a frequent television and radio guest on parenting topics. A former digital director at House & Home Media, she also consults on digital audience engagement. Contact her here.


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